I am not sure there is really anything left to say about GWAR, as since they came to rescue earth as ‘Scumdogs of the Universe’. They may not have had the most stable line-up, but two of the guys have been here solidly for the last 30 years and everyone else has at least 10 years in the band, although it may have been in multiple tenures (Beefcake the Mighty is the most recent returnee, coming back for his fourth stint in 2019). Everyone knows these are the guys in silly costumes who spray everyone with fake blood, and other bodily fluids, and the music is just an excuse to be silly onstage isn’t it? Perhaps not, as take away the looks and the somewhat childish lyrics (a leopard can’t change its spots after all), then this is actually a very decent melodic rock album with thrash tendencies.
They started off as a punk outfit, moving into thrash, but on this the second album since the death of founding lead singer Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus), there is no doubt that they have created something which may cause many to have a rethink of what this band is about. Take “The Cutter” for example, this is a great little thrash number reminiscent of classic Anthrax, although the female harmonies in the middle which take it into a pop direction are wonderfully tongue in cheek. If an album packed with riffs and hooks isn’t enough, how about finishing with a ten-minute number in “Deus Ex Monstrum”? This shows a very different side of the band again with loads of atmosphere, creating something which is much more progressive in nature. As the guys somehow head towards their 40th anniversary, this could well be their most musical outing next and is all the better for it.